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Tommy to dad: Please go home

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who turns 71 on Wednesday, is showing no outward signs of slowing down.

Much to his son Tommy's chagrin.

"I wish he would (retire); it'd sure make it easier for the rest of us in this conference and everybody else," the second-year Clemson coach said. "I don't see him going much longer than a couple more years, two at the most. I would say his biggest thing is Bear Bryant's record since he was born and raised in Birmingham and he had a couple shots at the Alabama job and it didn't work out. I'm sure he'd like to get that. He'll never say that, that's just a son trying to stir up something."

Bryant holds the Division I-A record for wins with 323, followed by Penn State's Joe Paterno (321), Glenn "Pop" Warner (319) and Amos Alonzo Stagg (314). Bowden has 313 career wins.

"That record looms big; that's always been one of his idols and dream jobs. To surpass Bear Bryant, I think once that is done, he's got two national championships, he's going to win nine or 10 every year, I don't know why he'd want to keep putting the rest of us through this torture," Tommy said.

Papa Bowden responded in the same way he has whenever folks talk about his imminent retirement: that he's in good health and still enjoys the job. He also points out that one of his other sons, Terry, while coach at Auburn, used to talk about his dad retiring soon, and "look where he is now." Terry is in the ABC studios.

AWARD WATCH: FSU senior defensive end Jamal Reynolds, who entered Saturday's game tied for second nationally with 11 sacks, was named one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award. In the first 30 years of the award, the only Seminole to win it was linebacker Marvin Jones in 1992. FSU All-America defensive tackle Corey Simon was a finalist last season. The other finalists are Minnesota center Ben Hamilton, Nebraska center Dominic Raiola and Michigan guard Steve Hutchinson. The Lombardi will be presented Dec. 6 in Houston.

GREAT SCOTT!: FSU fans owe Clemson assistant Brad Scott a thank you note. The rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference faithful probably would write something different. In the fall of 1989, Scott, then the FSU offensive coordinator, was a key player in the recruitment of quarterback Chris Weinke.

"He was the kind of guy who lured me to go to Florida State," Weinke said. "He did a tremendous job of recruiting me and letting me know what this program was all about. He was the guy my parents had been in touch with throughout the whole recruiting process. ... He's probably one of the reason's I'm here at Florida State now."

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: FSU senior Jean Jeune, the special-team's captain and former walk-on, made his first career start at linebacker for the injured Brian Allen. Redshirt freshman fullback Randy Golightly started for the first time in place of injured William McCray.

PLAY IT AGAIN: Sunshine Network will show its broadcast of the FSU-Clemson game at 7 tonight and noon Monday.

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